Fairfield Greenwich Sued Over Madoff Losses

Dec 23 2008 | 2:28am ET

It was only a matter of time. Fairfield Greenwich Group, the New York-based hedge fund firm with the most exposure of any investor to a suspected $50 billion Ponzi scheme, has itself been sued by investors.

FFG, which had more than $7.5 billion invested with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities—including all $7.3 billion of its Fairfield Sentry Fund—“failed to perform even a minimum level of due diligence regarding the activities of Madoff” will reaping “millions of dollars in fees,” according to the complaint filed on Friday in New York State Supreme Court.

The lawsuit, filed by New York law firm Lovell Stewart and Halebian, seeks class-action status, as do the other two Madoff-related lawsuits that have been filed since Bernard Madoff’s arrest on securities fraud charges two weeks ago. In addition to FFG, the suit names founding partners Walter Noel, Andres Piedrahita and Jeffrey Tucker, as well as Brian Francouer and Amit Vijayvergiya of an affiliate, FG Bermuda. Vijayvergiya is also FFG’s chief risk officer. The suit alleges breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and unjust enrichment.

Plaintiff’s attorney Christopher Lovell told Bloomberg News that the suit was filed in state court, rather than in federal court, because the state court proceedings cannot be put on hold. He said he would quickly serve the respondents with subpoenas and seek a document preservation order.

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